Join the second episode in our Researcher Live series on 'Antibiotic & Antimicrobial Resistance' on 18th October at 10am BST/9am GMT, for an exclusive talk with Prof Kim Hardie, University of Nottingham. Sign up here to receive email reminders for this series!
What are we going to talk about in this episode?
Due to rising levels of antimicrobial resistance, the antimicrobials that have been protecting us from life-threatening infections are becoming less effective. Without new interventions surgical procedures that enhance our lives e.g. hip replacements will no longer be routine.
In the course of an infection bacteria form co-ordinated communities called biofilms. Bacteria resident in biofilms are protected by a self-produced matrix of extracellular polysaccharides and DNA. Antimicrobials do not easily penetrate this matrix. This can lead to bacteria within biofilms being exposed to sub-lethal levels of antimicrobials. In addition to reducing the microbial killing, this can select for antimicrobial resistance.
Novel technical approaches are emerging that enable us to interrogate the environmental microniches of biofilms and track antimicrobial penetration with the aim of discovering novel antimicrobial targets and increasing the efficiency of biofilm eradication.
The slides for this event can be found here.
- 3rd October, 2.30pm BST / 1.30pm GMT - ‘Artificial intelligence approaches for antibiotic discovery’ with César de la Fuente, Presidential Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania
- 18th October, 10am BST / 9am GMT - ‘Biofilm communities, antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance’ with Prof Kim Hardie, University of Nottingham
- 10th November, 10am BST / GMT - ‘Antibiotics: from databases to evolution in patients’ with Prof Robert Beardmore, University of Exeter
Please follow Researcher Live’s profile ‘Researcher In Practice in Immunology’ to keep up with posts, interviews with experts and other exciting events in immunology!
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10:00 am BST / 09:00 pm GMT
Prof Kim Hardie is Professor in Bacterial Pathogenesis within the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham and Co-leads the Division of Infection, Immunity and Microbes. She is also coinvestigator in the National Biofilm Innovation Centre and co-Director for the Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Programme on Antimicrobials and Antimicrobial Resistance that is held jointly with the University of Birmingham. Kim studied at the Universities of Leicester and Cambridge (UK) before undertaking postdoctoral research at the University of Victoria (BC, Canada) and Institut Pasteur (Paris, France).
Her research group studies how proteins are secreted and how bacteria regulate these proteins. The work specifically aims to understand the fitness burden of producing signalling molecules that are used by bacteria to communicate with each other, and how this impacts on pathogenicity. To do this, Kim’s research group have been investigating how bacteria form coordinated communities on surfaces (biofilms) including skin. State-of-the-art multidisciplinary approaches are being combined with realistic infection models to investigate how antimicrobials penetrate complex biofilm structures. Her aim is to discover novel antimicrobials, or more effective combination therapies.
Kim communicates science as broadly as possible. Her portfolio of outreach activities includes the Royal Society Summer exhibition (2019, 2020), Media interviews (TV and radio), Science festivals, Wonder, bespoke school/NHS outreach, and learned society governance roles (Royal Society of Biology and Microbiology Society).
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